The Duel

3 Miami Dolphins Bold Predictions for Week 1

Larry Rupp
Bold Predictions for the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.
Bold Predictions for the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. / Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins open up the 2020 NFL season on the road against the New England Patriots in Week 1. As 6.5-point underdogs, the Dolphins will need a shocking win to avoid falling to 0-1 on the season.

If the Dolphins want to pull off the upset, they will need some surprising performances in order to be able to keep up with the Patriots. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Dolphins against the Patriots.

1. Preston Williams will have 100-Plus Yards and a Touchdown

After giving up 139 yards on 8 receptions to DeVante Parker in Week 17 last season, there may be some extra motivation for star cornerback Stephon Gillmore and the Patriots defense to shut him down this time around. Look for Preston Williams to take advantage of that and become the go-to target for veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. In eight games as a rookie last year, Williams showed plenty of promise, actually leading Parker in targets and receptions in that time. The New England Patriots ranked No. 1 in passing defense last season, but Fitzpatrick was the only quarterback able to post 300-plus passing yards against them. Fitzpatrick may attempt to spread the ball out early, but expect him to look towards Williams as the game goes on in order to stay away from Gillmore and surprise the talented Patriots' defense.

2. Cam Newton Will Throw at Least 2 Interceptions

It will take some time for Cam Newton to adjust to playing in New England's offense after playing his entire nine-year career with the Carolina Panthers, and the lack of preseason won't make that any easier. While the Patriots may try to focus on the run game to ease Newton back into action, look for the veteran quarterback to make some mistakes in Week 1. The Dolphins' defense racked up nine interceptions last season and is spearheaded by Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard and a big free agent signing in safety Byron Jones. Cam Newton has thrown at least 12 interceptions in seven of his nine NFL seasons and may try to force the ball if things don't go his way early in the game. In the end, Newton will have to shake off some rust this game and it wouldn't be surprising to see his toss a few picks.

3. Miami's Backfield Will Rush for Over 100 Yards

While this may not seem like a very bold prediction on the surface, the Dolphins only rushed for over 100 yards three times last season. In fact, the Dolphins ranked last in the NFL with only 72.2 rushing yards per game and their leading rusher this past season was quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It's not often the team leader in rushing yards is a quarterback who finished with only 243 yards. After signing Jordan Howard and trading for Matt Breida, the Dolphins have a new-look backfield and will try to ground and pound the ball more often this season. Even though the Patriots only gave up 101.7 rushing yards per game in 2019, look for them to focus on Fitzpatrick and the passing game after he threw for over 300 yards on them in Week 17 last year. If Howard and Breida are able to find their groove, the duo should have no trouble reaching 100 rushing yards in this Week 1 matchup.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.